All the Wrong Reasons
Luke 15:28 "And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him."
If this elder son had considered his brother, he would have rejoiced at his return even as his father did. Rather, he was totally self-centered (that's pride) and became angry. This illustrates Proverbs 13:10: "only by pride cometh contention."
How can we esteem others better than ourselves when in truth we really think we are better than others? Some people are better athletes than others. Some are better businessmen than others. Some are better speakers than others, and so forth. First, we need to recognize that our accomplishments don't make us better than others. There is a difference between what we do and who we are.
Better performance does not make a better person. A person's character can be severely wanting even though his performance is good. A classic example of this is found in the Pharisees of Jesus' day. They did the right things for all the wrong reasons. Inside they were corrupt. So our evaluation of others needs to change. God judges by looking on the inside, not the outside (1 Samuel 16:7). We need to esteem others on a different basis than what most of us do.
Secondly, to esteem someone better than ourselves simply means to value them more than we value ourselves. To some that may seem impossible, but it isn't.
It is exactly what Jesus did. If Jesus, who was God in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16), could humble Himself and value our good above His own welfare, then we should certainly be able to do the same. It can happen when we die to self and live to God.
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